18 Films And TV Shows Streaming On Netflix To Get You In The Festive Spirit

Whether it’s original shows and films or festive classics we come back to year after year, Netflix has a wide array of Christmas offerings streaming this year.

However, we all know that scrolling through the streaming service to find something everyone can agree on can sometimes take forever.

So, to help you make a decision before the time New Year’s Day rolls around, we’ve rounded up the good, the bad and, frankly, the very odd to make things a bit easier.

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby

(Photo: Cos Aelenei/Netflix)

No we can’t quite believe it either, but Netflix’s A Christmas Prince saga is not over yet. Capitalising on royal wedding fever last year with A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, this year’s offering just happens to coincide with the arrival of baby Archie, but with a few Christmas trees plonked in the background.

However, we can’t pretend we won’t be watching this blatant crowd-pleaser, and probably tearing up on more than one occasion once we’re a few Snowballs in.

RuPaul’s Holi-Slay Spectacular

RuPaul's Drag Race (Photo: Netflix)

Upon its debut in 2018, it quickly emerged that this supposed holiday special was essentially little more than a naff 40-minute advert for RuPaul’s Christmas album and the then-upcoming All Stars 4 (which – incidentally – we were promised on Netflix earlier this year, and still hasn’t materialised), complete with impromptu musical numbers and a totally ridiculous “lip sync” between Michelle Visage and RuPaul.

Still, we won’t pretend we didn’t love it, and if the sillier and more irreverent moments of Drag Race are what keeps you tuning in, then you probably will too.

Friends

(Photo: NBC via Getty Images)

Friends’ continued presence on the streaming platform means we can still get a big dose of 90s nostalgia this Christmas, with the sitcom’s array of festive episodes. The One With The Inappropriate Sister sees Phoebe becoming slowly more jaded while she collects for charity, while series three’s The One Where Rachel Quits sees Lisa Kudrow’s character trying to rehouse some unappealing brown trees after seeing them going into a chipper.

But the definitive Christmas special is unquestionably The One With The Holiday Armadillo, an episode with everything you want from a Friends episode: Ross embarrassing himself, some lovely scenes with Joey and Rachel, plus Monica’s apparent Santa fetish revelation. What’s not to love? 

Bojack Horseman

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Bojack Horseman (Photo: Netflix)

Or, if 90s sitcom Christmas episodes aren’t your thing, how about *checks notes* a parody of 90s sitcom Christmas episodes?

This stand-alone episode of Bojack Horseman focuses mostly on the titular character’s former sitcom Horsin’ Around, with Bojack and Todd sitting down to watch the show’s Christmas special.

As a result, Sabrina’s Christmas Wish is part parody of the many family-based sitcoms of the 1990s, but also woven throughout are the dark elements that have made Bojack Horseman such a hit. Probably not one to watch if you’re looking for a bit of thoughtless festive cheer (we know she’s not real, but we still get choked up every time we see childhood Sarah Lynn on screen), but definitely worth checking out if you’re a Bojack fan curious about how the show handled something like a festive episode.

Jack Whitehall: Christmas With My Father

(Photo: Ollie Millington via Getty Images)

New for 2019, this one-off variety show was filmed earlier this year at the London Palladium, featuring celebrity guests and performances, and sees Jack trying to get his notoriously unenthusiastic dad into the Christmas mood.

Probably not to everyone’s tastes, but if you enjoyed watching the Brit Awards host and his dad on their series Travels With My Father, this new festive “extravaganza” is a must-watch. 

Merry Happy Whatever

(Photo: Adam Rose/Netflix)

Another of Netflix’s new additions for this year, Merry Happy Whatever is a dark comedy focussing on a dysfunctional family in the hectic period in the lead-up to Christmas.

Dennis Quaid takes on the lead role of Don Quinn, the father of grown-up kids who are home for the holidays, and his struggles to make sure everyone is happy while also keeping his family Christmas as traditional as possible.

If you’re spending the festive season over at your parents’ and you’re stuck for something to watch to please everyone, we reckon this could be it.

Christmas With The Kranks 

(Photo: Zade Rosenthal/Columbia/Revolution/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Alternatively, those hoping for a more traditional family Christmas film could do a lot worse than Christmas With The Kranks, headed by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Although it was panned by critics at the time, Christmas With The Kranks has since become a bit of a festive staple for many, so there could be hope for Emma Thompson and Paul Feig’s Last Christmas yet...

The Knight Before Christmas

(Photo: Netflix / Brooke Palmer)

Did you enjoy Vanessa Hudgens’ Parent-Trap-meets-Princess-Diaries shenanigans in The Christmas Switch last year? No, us neither particularly, but it did give us a few laughs, so we’re a little bit excited to see the High School Musical star has once again teamed up with Netflix on a new festive original.

True, The Knight Before Christmas does smack of “a boardroom came up with the title first and worked backwards from there”, but it’s also the perfect kind of naff escapism we’re probably all in need of at the end of yet another tumultuous year.

Arthur Christmas

(Photo: Netflix)

A more modern Christmas offering that might have passed you by when it was released in 2011. This animated story is one for all the family, and while younger viewers can lose themselves in the festive cheer, there’s enough substance to actually entertain adults too.

With a rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, Arthur Christmas looks set to stand the test of time as a latter-day festive classic.

Schitt’s Creek 

(Photo: Netflix)

Even die-hard fans of this cult comedy would be forgiven for not realising that it had a Christmas special, as it didn’t debut on Netflix until long after the show first arrived on the streaming service.

The episode centres around Dan trying haplessly to re-live the halcyon days of the Christmas parties the family enjoyed when they were still rich, which needless to say, neither his wife nor his children want any part of. 

The Christmas Chronicles 

(Photo: Netflix)

This was Netflix’s big festive offering in 2018, with Kurt Russell following in the footsteps of Tim Allen, Christopher Plummer, Richard Attenborough and John Goodman by taking on the lead role of Santa.

The festive family comedy tells the story of a brother and sister who are forced to (you guessed it!) save Christmas after accidentally crashing Santa’s sleigh.

Nailed It! Holiday!

(Photo: Adam Rose/Netflix)

What could be better than watching a load of hapless-but-loveable amateur bakers competing in a contest to replicate impressive baked treats in a bid to win $10,000? Well, watching them do it all with a festive twist, obviously.

One of Netflix’s most underrated shows is back with seven brand new episodes for the holiday season, following on from the success of last year’s much-loved festive specials.

Nativity!

Nativity (Photo: Moviestore/Shutterstock)

Long before it became an unlikely Christmas franchise, Nativity! made a modest debut in UK cinemas back in 2008 with little fanfare, but has since gone on to spawn two sequels and a spin-off theatre show.

While we can’t vouch for the quality of what came next, Nativity! is actually a pretty lovely watch, particularly for families, featuring the acting talents of Martin Freeman and comedian Alan Carr.

White Christmas (Black Mirror) 

Black Mirror (Photo: Channel 4)

On the other hand... 

Dystopian anthology show Black Mirror made its final outing on Channel 4 with this feature-length Christmas special, featuring not one but three tales that’ll make you think twice before asking Santa for any new technology this year.

This episode tackles online voyeurism, social media blocking and artificial intelligence, while also boasting an appearance from Jon Hamm, and ending on a surprisingly chilling rendition of Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday that will ensure you never hear that song in the same way again. 

Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas 

Mariah Carey (Photo: Hallmark)

Who better to spend the festive season with than the Queen Of Christmas (and, indeed, Crisp-mas) herself? As well as the obligatory All I Want For Christmas Is You performance, the special features a dramatic reading from Kelsey Grammer (??) and interviews with the cast of A Christmas Melody, the TV movie directed by and starring Mariah.

Oh, and Santa stops by, because why not? 

A Very Murray Christmas

(Photo: Netflix)

Even more off-the-wall than Mariah’s offering, A Very Murray Christmas debuted on Netflix in 2015, and sees Bill Murray spending Christmas Eve in a hotel, where a snowstorm has led most of his A-list guests to cancel.

An offbeat and quirky way to spend an hour of your time, A Very Murray Christmas culminates in a festive dream sequence where Bill sings classic Christmas tunes with George Clooney and Miley Cyrus. Frankly, we still can’t believe this ever happened, but it’s enjoyable all the same.

New Year’s Eve

Ashton Kutcher (Photo: Warner Bros)

Do you know how many Oscar-winning actors are in this film? Well, we’ll tell you. It’s three. Three!!! And that’s without delving into the rest of the cast, which includes genuinely respected stars like John Lithgow, Sarah Paulson and Michelle Pfeiffer.

This is not a film that is going to change your life, but we do love an all-star ensemble cast, and New Year’s Eve is a nice enough stop-gap to fill that period between Christmas ending and having to go back to work.

Gavin & Stacey’s Christmas special

Gavin and Stacey (Photo: Netflix/BBC)

It’s hard for us to pick a favourite moment from this modern festive staple, whether it’s Nessa forcing Gavin to sit on her lap in Santa’s grotto, Smithy introducing us to Carpool Karaoke years before it would take the world by storm, Dawn and Pete’s questionable turkey impression or that melancholic moment when Bryn and Gwen sip their mint Baileys, it’s basically non-stop brilliance from start to finish.

And what makes watching it all the better is the knowledge we’ll have a brand new gift from James Corden and Ruth Jones to unwrap on BBC One this Christmas Day.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.